Once you see how easy this is you will get sucked into the wonderful world of canning and preserving!
Jen Godshall | guest writer for The Snap Mom
As I’m writing everything out, it seems like a lot of steps and equipment if you’ve never canned before. After doing it a few times, it’s really simple and un-scary- I promise! I highly recommend checking out foodinjars.com or getting the books Food in Jars or Preserving by the Pint by Marisa McClellan. They have lots of simple recipes and easy to understand info on the “how”s and “why”s of canning. She does a great job at explaining everything in more detail than I have.
Homemade Triple Berry Jam
Adapted from Preserving by the Pint (Marisa McClellan)
Equipment You Will Need (You probably have most of it already in your kitchen!)
-Stock Pot, Asparagus Pot, or 4th Burner Pot (I love my Kuhn Rikon 4th burner pot for small batch canning!) for processing- must be deep enough to hold 2 jars with 1” of water covering them
-Small sauce pan or frying pan for heating lids
-Wide pan for cooking jam
-2 Half Pint (8oz) jars with lids and rings
-Funnel (Progressive makes a sturdy one for canning with measurements on the side)
-Canning Tongs or Regular Tongs
-Small rack that will fit inside your pot to help water circulate and prevent jars from cracking- canning rack or a cake cooling rack- a rag will even work in a pinch
-1 1/2 pounds berries (about 1/2 pound each strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
-1 c. honey
-Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 1/2 Tbs.)
That’s it! And I think that’s great- no added sugar, not even any pectin is needed for this super fresh yummy jam! Just honey, lemon, and berries.
Feel free to experiment and change up the berries- you could use just one kind of berry, or mix a few of your favorites, add some fresh vanilla bean, use lime instead of lemon, add some fresh herbs- get creative! One great thing about small batch canning is that you can experiment with different flavors and recipes and if you end up hating it, well you only made 2 jars- give them away to a good friend (or not-so-good friend, if it’s that bad!) and try again!
Preparing your Jars
1. Inspect jars for any cracks or nicks. Trust me, you don’t want to find out that your jar was cracked AFTER you fill it with piping hot sweet goodness. Remember that you can reuse your jars and bands again and again. The lid with the rubbery orange ring on the bottom may only be used once.
2. Wash your jars, lids, and bands in hot soapy water. Lids go in the small saucepan with enough water to cover them on a gentle simmer. Jars go in the large pot fitted with rack, with enough water to cover the jars by 1”. Bring the water to a boil, and keep boiling while you make your jam.
Making the Jam
3. Wash and strain berries. Hull and quarter strawberries. Toss all berries in wide pan, off heat. Add honey, stir to combine, and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
4. Add lemon juice and mash with potato masher.
5. Bring to a bubble and cook over high heat for 8-12 minutes, stirring regularly, until the jam is thick and sticky. It is done when you can pull a spatula through the cooking fruit and it does not immediately rush in to fill the space
Processing the Jam
6. Use tongs to remove jars and lids onto a clean kitchen towel. Funnel jam into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe rims with a damp rag to remove any spilled jam.
7. Apply the lids and bands, tightening so they are “finger-tip tight”.
8. Use tongs to place jars back in the large pot, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes.
9. Remove jars and let rest on kitchen towel for 24 hours. You should hear the comforting sound of lids pinging soon after removing them, letting you know that the seals are forming.
10. After 24 hours, check your seals by removing the bands; then grasp the jar by the edges of the lid and gently lift in a couple inches off the countertop. If the lid holds fast, your jar sealed properly and can be stored without the band in a cool, dark place for up to a year. If your jar did not seal, you can still enjoy your jam, you just need to keep it in the fridge
Because this jam is sweetened with honey, it will not last as long as jam made with sugar. Once opened, jam should be enjoyed within 3 weeks. If you don’t think you will go through a half pint of jam in that time, you should consider canning the jam in 4 quarter-pint jars instead.
Makes 2 Half Pint (8oz) Jars